Health Sciences Education Symposium

First Author Information

Susan C. Haynes, MSW, MEd, Surgical Simulation Administrator, VCU Surgery

Additional Author(s) Information

Catherine E. Grossman, MD, Associate Professor, VCU Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine

Presentation Format


Type of Activity


Original Presentation Date


Date of Submission

May 2017

Abstract/Short Description

Participants work in teams of two. One member of the team serves as the “communicator”, the other serves as the “surgeon”. The “communicator” is given a picture of the design and instructs the surgeon how to use the materials inside the box trainer to replicate the design. The “communicator” cannot look inside the box trainer nor share with the “surgeon” the picture of the design.

Several designs may be incorporated into the exercise. Pairs are given a maximum time of five minutes to complete each design. A debriefing is conducted to discuss the challenges in completing the simulation.

Purpose/Research Question

The focus of surgical simulation training is on technical skill development. Given that communication and teamwork skills are essential for quality patient care, we sought to create a model that could integrate technical, communication and teamwork skills into one simulation exercise.


Enhance manual dexterity and hand eye coordination needed for fundamental laparoscopic skills

Demonstrate clear, concise information sharing

Exhibit teamwork based behaviors


Papanagnou, D., Diemer, G., & Wolf, A. (2016, April 1). IDEA Series: Using LEGO Pieces to Help Residents Teach Procedural Skills. Retrieved April 07, 2017, from

Smith-Jentsch, K. A., Cannon-Bowers, J. A., Tannenbaum, S. I., & Salas, E. (2008). Guided team self-correction: Impacts on team mental models, processes, and effectiveness. Small Group Research, 39(3), 303-327.


© The Author(s)

Is Part Of

VCU Medical Education Symposium